Every day, we try to make more eco-friendly choices, like recycling, carpooling and using reusable water bottles. But there are more choices we could be making in our own homes to be more sustainable - and to save money along the way.
Mallory Micetich with Ask Angi recently shared her top tips for eco-friendly home projects.
“One key to sustainability when updating your home is using what you already have. Reusing and repurposing existing materials in your home not only can save the planet - it also can save you money,” Micetich said. “Before starting a new project, look around your home and take an assessment, what materials can be reused or upcycled. For example, an old dresser from the bedroom can be turned into a unique vintage bathroom sink base.”
You can also update existing parts of your home for a fresh look without creating waste by reusing materials you already have. Instead of replacing your cabinets altogether, try giving them a fresh coat of paint.
If your fabric couch is wearing out, first try giving it a deep clean and depilling the fabric. You’d be surprised how new your existing items can look when given a little TLC.
“Water conservation projects are another great place to start when making your home more eco-friendly,” Micetich said. “Not only will you save water, but could also also lower your bills at the same time. A lot of people assume conserving water simply means taking shorter showers and using fewer sprinklers outside, and while these help, there are also some home projects, both indoor and outdoor, that will make a lasting impact on your home’s water usage. One thing I have done in my home is replacing my shower head with a low flow model.”
There are plenty of projects to help conserve water in your home.
Outside, you can plant native and drought-resistant plants that require less water, or switch to water-conserving lawn care practices, like collecting rainwater to water your plants or upgrading your irrigation system.
Inside, consider switching to low-flow toilets and faucets, which decrease water flow by 30%. Also regularly check for leaks around your home, which can waste water and cause property damage. If you suspect a leak, call your plumber to scope out the situation.
“Energy-conservation projects are another easy way to make your home more eco-friendly. One way to save energy in your home is to improve your insulation,” Micetich said. “Up to 40% of a home’s heat loss comes from poor insulation, so this project can make a dramatic difference. If your home has poor insulation, try adding more eco-friedly products, like wool or soybean foam insulation intoyour walls, roof or windows.”
Like water-conservation projects, energy-conservation projects help the environment and lower your monthly bills at the same time.
When you think of energy conservation, you may immediately think of large projects like adding solar panels on top of your roof. While this is a great project to take on if you have a larger budget, there are also more budget-friendly options.
“One simple DIY project is replacing old lighting and appliances for energy-efficient ones,” said Micetich. “Look for appliances with Energy Star certifications and opt for LED bulbs for all your lights. If you have a project in mind and are looking for ways to make it more eco-friendly, talk to a few pros in your area for their advice. Ask what steps they take to make their projects eco-friendly or request they use environmentally friendly products wherever possible.”